By Ulrich Hommel and Amber Wigmore Alvarez.
EFMD Professional Development and Highered will launch a new training programme this autumn, the Career Professionals Development Institute (CPDI). The inaugural edition will take place on 20-22 November 2019 at Luiss Business School in Rome, immediately following the EFMD Career Services Conference. Next stop is likely to be the Highered Global Talent Summit in May 2020 in Shanghai.
The CPDI serves multiple purposes. It will help business schools to deliver and maintain state-of-the-art talent services by exposing their talent and careers professionals to an intense peer-based learning experience. In addition, participants will gain an in-depth understanding of how emergent technologies are likely to reshape corporate talent recruitment and what this means for the way business schools’ talent and careers departments will need to operate in the future.
We anticipate that the CPDI will deliver a strong push from within career service units to continuously improve business schools when it comes to reshaping graduate recruitment activities.
With the introduction of the CPDI, EFMD Professional Development and Highered intend to foster a dialogue around the strategic role of talent and careers departments within business schools. These units are often perceived as being disconnected from revenue flows and are, in the vast majority of cases, set up as “cost centres”.
As a consequence, the career service portfolio often correlates insufficiently with the evolving needs of business school graduates, be it as a result of the growth and further internationalisation of student intakes or the extension of degree programme portfolios.
Furthermore, career services have a tendency to become too client-distant if reassigned as a university-level shared service. The consequences must be concerning as unfulfilled career aspirations will lead to negative word-ofmouth communication in the short term and fragile alumni relations in the longer term.
In contrast to common perception, talent and careers’ activities have a major influence on the competitive positioning of business schools and their financial performance. For example, nearly 65% of all international rankings criteria more or less relate to financial issues.
The CPDI will sharpen the talent and careers professionals’ self-conception as drivers of institutional reputation and financial outcomes and, in light of persisting budget challenges, will emphasise the need to leverage resources within a school and beyond (such as the Highered-EFMD Shared Career Services or the peer network to be developed by the CPDI).
Another focus area of the CPDI is how to establish, manage and develop recruiter relations with an effective display of leadership with only “limited” authority.
Participants will learn from internationally renowned experts how to get into the recruiter mindset by “speaking their language” and understanding their intentions, challenges and troubles.
And even more importantly, they will receive guidance on how recruiter feedback can be channelled back to faculty, students and programme management to effect better recruiting outcomes and improved educational relevance.
What makes the CPDI a special learning experience is its focus on technology and data analytics. Even seasoned talent and careers professionals need to acquire intimate knowledge of state-of-the-art technologies and corresponding talent analytics. “Gamification”, for example, is currently making major inroads into talent selection. Talent and careers professionals need to “tool up” so that they can coach and mentor future graduates and alumni around the obstacles that new technologies confront them with.
The CPDI offers a unique opportunity for talent and careers professionals to learn about best practices in EFMD member schools. Participants will learn how current trends may affect their work in the future and how to prepare for evolving job demands – with the help of a strong CPDI peer network.
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